Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s environmental legislation. It covers environmental assessment and approvals, protects significant biodiversity and integrates the management of important natural and cultural places.

If a new project on your farm is likely to have a significant impact on a matter of National Environmental Significance (such as a threatened native grassland, marine park or threatened species) you’ll need to refer the matter to the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy.

On 29 March 2018 the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and the Minister for Environment and Energy announced an independent review of the EPBC Act. The review will look at the interaction between environmental law and the agriculture sector to ensure positive environmental and economic outcomes are achieved. Dr Wendy Craik will undertake the independent review, which will build on a recommendation by the Productivity Commission’s 2017 report into the Regulation of Australian Agriculture.

More information on the EPBC Act, how it applies to farmers and how to seek a referral is available from the Department of Environment and Energy’s website. Further information on the independent review, including the Terms of Reference, is available at Targeted review to find ways to better support farmers under national environmental law.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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